TERRORISM SALON: Matthew Levitt on OBL vs. AQ

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(Matthew Levitt is a Senior fellow and Director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy).
Peter’s is an excellent article. I’d submit, however, that it conflates Bin Laden with al Qaeda and I increasingly wonder if perhaps al Qaeda the organization has outgrown Bin Laden the man. After all, a persistent AQ threat does not mean Bin Laden is still calling the shots. Sadly, if it’s true that the organization has grown past the man it is another sign of just how successful he and the organization both have been.
— Matthew Levitt
This week long terrorism salon will continue to be hosted by The Washington Note and UN Dispatch.

Comments

3 comments on “TERRORISM SALON: Matthew Levitt on OBL vs. AQ

  1. arthurdecco says:

    “Steve could play his part by denying them free space and publicity.” JohnH
    Originally, I thought so too, JohnH. But I’ve changed my mind. I think it’s terrific that propagandizers like Levitt are encouraged to fulminate in forums like this one. While in the short term it may contribute positively to their financial bottom lines, long term it can only confirm the utter bankruptcy of their philosophies. The way I see it, the more often we’re permitted to peer into the darkened, unswept corners of their minds, the sooner their malevolent influence will wane.

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  2. JohnH says:

    Gates’ DOD sees the world differently from warmongering neocons: “The use of force plays a role, yet military efforts to capture or kill terrorists are likely to be subordinate to measures to promote local participation in government and economic programs to spur development, as well as efforts to understand and address the grievances that often lie at the heart of insurgencies.”
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JH02Ak02.html
    As Rich said above, “Until people like Mr. Levitt come to terms with their responsibility under the law; and with the law’s responsibility and the state’s responsiblilty to the citizens they presume to serve, grassroots terrorism will only grow, Levitt will only compound the problem, and existing policies will be responsible for that acceleration of terrorist events.”
    It’s time for people to aggressively repudiate the dangerous, inefffective policies of neocons, as Joe Klein and Daniel Levy have: http://www.prospectsforpeace.com/2008/07/on_joe_klein_and_the_jewish_ne.html
    Steve could play his part by denying them free space and publicity.

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  3. rich says:

    You’ve taken your eye off the ball.
    al Qaeda the organization vs. bin Laden the man is an irrelevant red herring when both have outgrown the capacity of Mr. Levitt’s legal and enforcement portfolio to respond adequately OR maintain any internal integrity.
    The basic facts expose the moral and legal bankruptcy of Matthew Levitt’s narrow focus on “the actual acts of terrorism.”
    Pakistan Behind Indian Embassy Bomb
    http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2008/07/14/asia/OUKWD-UK-AFGHAN-PAKISTAN.php
    Pakistan Aided Attack in Kabul
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/world/asia/01pstan.html?scp=6&sq=pakistan&st=cse
    We already knew that state refusal to abide by its own laws or be responsible to the citizens it serves or remain accountable before the law—is the root cause of ‘terrorism.’
    When Pakistan bombs India’s embassy or Washington ‘exercises’ the Salvador Option, who is the terrorist?
    The more humiliation a state inflicts to ward off being held accountable for injustice and repression, the more popular uprisings will demand justice. Labeling them ‘terrorists’ and refusing to deal with it does not let Levitt or Reagan off the hook.
    Did not the English Parliament condemn George Washington & Co. as ‘terrorists’? The CIA + SAVAK’s torture = Iran’s Revolution and the Embassy Takeover. Who was really responsible?
    Until people like Mr. Levitt come to terms with their responsibility under the law; and with the law’s responsibility and the state’s responsiblilty to the citizens they presume to serve, grassroots terrorism will only grow, Levitt will only compound the problem, and existing policies will be responsible for that acceleration of terrorist events.

    Reply

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